Recently it seems I’ve been asked, or more accurately, been accused, of writing The Moroni Deception as an attempt to disparage Gov. Romney and hurt his Presidential chances almost as many times as I’ve been asked what inspired me to write the novel.
The first question I have to say makes about as much sense to me as asking Dan Brown if his first two Langdon novels were personal attacks on the Pope. While some conspiracy-minded readers might want to draw the conclusion (although more often than not it seems to be from people who have not actually read the book) through Mr. Romney’s association with the LDS church, the beliefs and roots of which are explored in The Moroni Deception, that the novel is a personal attack, I would again remind them that I started writing the novel over five years ago.
The idea, as I’ve mentioned previously, was first sparked after reading Jon Krakauer’s Under The Banner of Heaven. From his book I got a condensed education with regards to the founding and history of the LDS Church–although I would point out that most of the modern day stuff his book dealt with had to do with the FLDS, one of the polygamous offshoots of the Mormon family tree (and which I make a fairly clear distinction between the two branches in my book).
After I saw how much potential there was for weaving in some of the more interesting elements as part of a novel, I did over a full year of additional research. I will admit that the novel did in fact start out as something completely different. While still a thriller, the story had to do with an FBI agent conducting a personal investigation into the murder of his fiancee who had grown up as a member of one of the polygamous Mormon offshoots. Somewhere along the line it morphed into what it mostly is now and the protagonist became an investigative journalist. This was around the same time Mitt Romney was running against John McCain about 5 years ago and when I came across the “White Horse Prophecy” that I got the idea for the Brockston Ratchford character.
Those things coming together then seemed to start the percolation of a different story headed into an entirely new direction. The fact that Mr. Romney won the GOP nomination five years later, right around the time I was finally finishing the book, was just dumb luck. It did, however, seem like the perfect time to release it with all the interest there has been in the Mormon religion over the last several years in our popular culture, rather than waiting another couple of years to try to go the more traditional publishing route, and at a time when there might be far less interest. So finally, to those who want to go on maintaining that “Brockston Ratchford” is just a veiled reference to Mitt Romney, I would point out that in the novel, Ratchford is described as a charismatic, fiery conservative–three descriptions I have never heard made describing Gov. Romney.
Review of The Moroni Deception:
Jack L. Brody’s The Moroni Deception is an exciting page-turner in the tradition of The DaVinci Code, one that will be relished by fans of suspense thrillers.
The presidential election is just around the corner and it looks as though charismatic Republican candidate and Utah senator Brockston Ratchford is going to win. The fact that his wife has been brutally murdered and his daughter kidnapped has only gained him public sympathy.
However, his wife isn’t the only one whose throat has been cut from ear to ear and whose forehead has been marked with strange symbols. A retired history professor by the name of Martin Koplanski has suffered the same fate, and the fact that he’s the author of a book that apparently doesn’t sit well with the powers that be in the Mormon Church doesn’t look like a coincidence.
New York Times journalist Chenault begins working on the story. With the help of Rachel Potter, a fledgling reporter for the The Salt Lake Tribune, he sets out to investigate the murders. Soon, a dark grim history begins to emerge, one of ancient artifacts, secret societies, and a mysterious prophecy that points to none other than Senator Ratchford.
Who, in fact, is The Prophet? Who is meant to be The Great Restorer? As the clock ticks and the presidential election approaches, the bodies pile up.
I enjoyed this novel immensely. The Moroni Deception is a hell of a ride. The pace is quick, the characters compelling, the stakes high. I really liked Chenault. He’s smart and sympathetic and has a good heart. I especially like that he’s not one of those tortured journalist heroes with a bitter past and prone to drinking. That was refreshing. The ending is surprising and satisfying.
The Moroni Deception is a controversial novel in the same way as The DaVinci Code is. So if you enjoy thrillers with religious and historical undertones, you’ll get a kick out of this one.
Review by Mayra Calvani